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Freddie Gibbs – Str8 Killa

December 8, 2010

Freddie Gibbs – Str8 Killa [August 2010, Decon Records/Gibbs Family]

In recent years rap music has gained notoriety amongst a wider audience. Rap and hip hop are now commonly featured alongside rock and indie in reviews, at gigs, and in peoples minds, helped in no small part by the likes of Kanye’s Graduation and Jay-Z’s Black Album (and fantastic Glasto performance). Indie kids who would previously never be seen dead listening to rap are now singing along to Eminem.

But there is one sub-genre of rap which has so far remained untapped by the indie masses: Gangsta Rap. That is, until now – enter Freddie Gibbs.

Freddie Gibbs – Rep 2 Tha Fullest (Feat. Jay Rock)

Well, I guess I told a little white lie, since the 50-Cent franchise is huge… but perhaps more in pop circles than indie ones. I believe that the fickle trends of the music industry can bring mixed blessings to a budding artist – when a certain genre somehow becomes fashionable, the pot gets diluted with an influx of new “talent”, and it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. On the other hand, it gives raw talent like Freddie a whole new arena in which to shine, and shine he does. Gangsta or not, his music is well produced despite it’s meager budget, and he spits his verses like a rap veteran and delivers a polished final product worthy of any rap collection.

Gibbs comes across as obstinate and headstrong – if not cocky and arrogant. He is a great rapper, and he knows it. You can almost hear his gangta swagger in the nimble yet relaxed way he delivers his tongue-twisting lyrics. Some compare him to Tupac, but I think this is unfair. Freddie has a talent for wrapping (pun intended) his words around a beat that is rarely seen, not in the likes of 50 Cent, or any other big name rapper, even Tupac.

Freddie Gibbs – Personal OG

Freddie comes from Gary, Indiana – home to the Jackson Family – a place also known for it’s gangster subculture. His lyrics deal with the usual rap violence, and predominately drugs – but don’t let this put you off. Freddie has quality. This EP is a taster of what he can do, and if he can keep his head on his shoulders (i.e. it doesn’t get too big/ shot off), he’ll go far.

Freddie Gibbs – The Ghetto

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris Bingo permalink
    December 8, 2010 10:44 pm

    Can’t say I’m all that blown away by this guy. The production values are good to be sure and I guess they are a little different from the norm even, but US gangsta rap just kills me unless there is an element of humour or humility in there.

    I know the genre by its very nature lends itself to arrogant fools talking about the meanness of the streets and such but it says absolutely nothing to me and since the one of the main elements of rap is the lyrical content, if it can’t even do that then I see no purpose listening to it.

    Although I have the same problem to an extent with modern British hip-hop, at least with that there tends to be some tongue-in-cheek quality and a little bit of intelligence in the lyrics – not to mention that they are at least talking about areas we know and have some understanding of (like Plan B, Klashnekoff or even Foreign Beggars).

    • j-diz permalink
      December 10, 2010 8:15 pm

      Yup, I have always had the problem of liking the flow of a lot of rappers but hating the shit that they have to say for themselves. Unless it’s particularly glaring that they are a complete numbskull, I can usually forgive them as long as their songs are good enough.

      Somehow, I get the feeling that this Freddie Gibbs character is speaking from the heart. That’s only from one listen mind.

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